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Three Remarkable Aspects of Devil's Punchbowl, Central Oregon Coast

Published 02/15/2018 at 3:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Remarkable Aspects of Devil's Punchbowl, Central Oregon Coast

(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – One of the more striking attractions of the entire Oregon coast is the Devil's Punchbowl, near Depoe Bay. That swirling cauldron of tidal madness sits just below Cape Foulweather, with the northern stretches of Newport in full view from its southern face. It's a popular destination all its own, bringing in thousands to tens of thousands every month, and about half the time entertaining and awing with the wild, oceanic abandon bouncing off its ancient stone walls.

There's much more to that story, however. What is the Devil's Punchbowl, really? What's it made of? How old is it? Then there's the wild, intricate history of the place in the last two centuries, strangely interwoven with the surrounding area and full of curious coincidences. Even wilder still: sometimes, on rare occasions, the Punchbowl allows access to its crazily colored innards.

Follow the links here for the full story. There's even a video below full of surprises.

Surprise-Filled History Surrounds Oregon Coast Landmark: Elephant Rock, Devil's Punchbowl, Otter Crest. While the Devil's Punchbowl, on the central Oregon coast, has been a heavy favorite among visitors for generations, there was actually another rock structure nearby that had the attention of tourists for quite a while before it.

Various native legends and dark prophecies were intertwined with it. Then, in an eerie twist, a purported curse seemed to come true upon the destruction of this landmark, which now sits at a beach that’s not really accessible anymore. Bad things happened shortly after. ....MORE...

Origin of an Oregon Coast Landmark: Devil's Punchbowl Geology. Essentially it's an old, old – very old – sea cave that fell apart. But there's more to the story. According to geology documents from the State of Oregon in 1971, the Devil's Punchbowl is made of bedded sandstone and siltstone of the Astoria Formation. The material that comprises it is maybe as old as 18 million years, having been a kind of fill-in of a variety of sandstone materials and other rocks, coming from eroded basalt from around Oregon, the Gorge and other sources.

Even more remarkable is that it gives a clearer glimpse into what much of this part of the central Oregon coast is made up of: from Newport up through Lincoln City. Here, you're looking at the same material beneath much of the sands in that whole stretch. ....MORE...

Inside Devil's Punchbowl - Extraordinary Depoe Bay. Periodically, perhaps no more than once or twice a year, extreme low tide events allow access from the beach below Otter Rock, and you can actually walk inside this raucous little cavern.

All around you are weird walls of smeared and melded colors, evidence of the constant churning that goes on in there. The floor is covered with all manner of marine debris, but mostly it’s layered with polished stones ranging in size from large rocks to sizable boulders. It’s not easy to walk about inside.

This is not a place that's safe to go inside, even if it looks that way. So we're going to show you what it's like so you don't have to risk your life. ....MORE...

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